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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

The Washington Wizards lost to the Utah Jazz 116-69 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Ugly loss: Coming off a big win over the Pistons on Friday, the Wizards embarked on a five-game road trip with reason to feel good about themselves and how they had fared so far without John Wall. They aren't feeling good anymore.

The Wizards began their road trip on Monday with their most lopsided loss of the season and one of their worst as a franchise, a thorough beatdown at the hands of the Utah Jazz.

Rudy Gobert returned to Utah's lineup after a three-week absence and dominated the middle with 10 rebounds and three blocks. He led the defense while Alec Burks scored 27 points in 27 minutes off the bench to lead their offense. The Wizards, meanwhile, lost control from the opening tip and never built any sort of momentum to make it a competitive game.

The Wizards lost by 47 points, making this their second-worst defeat ever. Only once have they lost by more, 52 points, and that was all the way back in 1971.

The Wizards scored just 15 points in each of the first two quarters to compile 30 points at halftime, their second-lowest output in a half so far this season. They trailed by 34 points, which is the largest halftime deficit for the Wizards since 2002 when the New Jersey Nets led them by 39 on January 16.

You want more terrible numbers? The Wizards' four three-pointers made were their fewest since 2006. Their 28.7 field goal percentage was their fifth-lowest in franchise history. The Jazz out-rebounded them 52-31.

The Wizards fell to 12-11 on the season and have now lost seven of their last 10 games. They are 3-4 without Wall this season and 2-3 since he had two procedures on his left knee. 


Beal was off again: Bradley Beal played his second game with protective eyewear and, just like on Friday, he ditched those glasses midgame. Beal couldn't hit shots from outside or around the basket. There were some layups he missed that were tough shots, but ones he usually gets to go down.

After scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting against the Jazz, Beal is averaging just 12.5 points in his last four games. Whether he is being affected by the eye injury he suffered against the Sixers on Nov. 29 or not, his dip in production is coming at a tough time for the Wizards with Wall already out. He will be needed in their next game on Tuesday night against a very good Blazers backcourt.

Morris and Gortat came up short: So much for what could have been a breakout performance for Markieff Morris. After setting a season-high with 26 points against the Pistons on Friday, Morris laid an egg in this one. He managed 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, but grabbed just one rebound.

Marcin Gortat was worse. He was held scoreless in 23 minutes for the first time since 2011. He did, however, have seven rebounds and four steals. But in a game the Wizards were dominated so badly on the boards, seven rebounds weren't enough from Gortat.

Mitchell is impressive: The Wizards got their first look at star rookie Donovan Mitchell and he was as-advertised. Mitchell made his first five shots, hitting midrange jumpers and floaters in the lane from all different release angles. He finished with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

Mitchell is known for his dunks and he threw down a huge alley-oop in the first half. Mitchell called for the pass near halfcourt and Ricky Rubio found him with a good setup:


Up next: The Wizards will get an opportunity to bounce back quickly from this one. They head northwest to play at the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

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2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

The Charlotte Hornets are attempting a firesale of sorts with the 2018 NBA trade deadline approaching and have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in talks, according to a report by ESPN.

Walker, 27, is having one of his best seasons with averages of 21.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is a prolific scorer and is on a team-friendly contract of $12 million per year through next season.

Though many teams have good point guards these days, there should be a strong market for Walker. Teams like the Sixers, Pistons, Clippers, Knicks and Nuggets would seem to be great fits. 


The Pistons stand out in particular. They are currently ninth in the East and their primary point guard Reggie Jackson is hurt. Even when he does play, they need offense and that's what Walker provides.

The Sixers have Markelle Fultz working his way back from a shoulder injury, but have the assets to trade for Walker and could use some help to make a playoff push. The Knicks could use more talent around Kristaps Porzingis and Walker would certainly help.

There are still about three weeks until the Feb. 8 trade deadline and a lot can change before then. But it appears there is another big name readily available on the market.


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Wizards at Pistons: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Pistons: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Andre Drummond, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris and the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


Where: Little Caesars Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington Plus (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Will Brooks make adjustments?

The Wizards suffered another tough loss on Wednesday night, a blowout defeat in Charlotte to a Hornets team that is currently well outside the playoff picture. It was a loss so bad that afterwards head coach Scott Brooks said he would "change some things." Guard Bradley Beal said after the game that he believes Brooks is serious, that changes will be made.

We didn't get any specifics, but they likely mean an adjustment to the rotation. A starter could be benched or pieces could be moved in the second unit. Brooks could of course change nothing at all. We will see what he meant on Friday night.


Oubre is killing it

The Wizards are waiting for Otto Porter and Markieff Morris to get going, but backup forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. has been on quite the tear. In his last six games he's reached double digits in points with averages of 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 55.3 percent from the field and 51.7 percent from three. Over his last 13 games, Oubre is shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Oubre, in fact, has been the Wizards' third-leading scorer since Thanksgiving, a stretch of 27 games. That's a big sample size and further evidence that Oubre has developed into much more than a bench player. He is a starter-level player coming off the bench. 


Pistons are banged up

The Pistons were one of the NBA's biggest surprises early this season as they jumped out to a strong start and looked like legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference. But since they have fallen hard back down to Earth and currently sit ninth in the East and outside of the playoff picture. Detroit has lost three straight games and six of their past eight. 

Injuries have helped contribute to their recent slide. Defensive stopper Avery Bradley is dealing with a sore groin and could miss Friday's game. Point guard Reggie Jackson is out with an ankle injury. Swingman Stanley Johnson has a bum hip and could sit out against the Wizards. And rookie Luke Kennard is expected to return on Friday, but he's dealing with a thumb injury on his shooting hand. The Wizards should have an advantage in depth in this matchup.

The Wizards have won each of the first two meetings between these teams this season. If they win on Friday, they will take the season series which could come in handy for playoff tiebreakers later on.